Teen’s fatal crash stuns PHS students

By REGINA BUTLER
Progress Staff Writer

The death of a Pontotoc High School senior this past Thursday brought the school to tears for most of the afternoon.

According to one source, the students were in a somber mood all day, from the time they heard of the student’s wreck early in the morning until news of his death around lunch time.

The scene

Christopher Adam Betts, of Longview Road was driving to school at Pontotoc High with his brother Wesley when he lost control of his truck, rolling it several times.

Adam was air-lifted from the scene and his brother, who is a junior was transported by ambulance to the North Mississippi Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

The accident occurred about a mile north from Highway 6 East around 7:15 a.m. on Longview Road.

Pontotoc County Sheriff Leo Mask said Adam lost control of his dark blue 1988 Chevrolet pickup.

“He was south-bound on Longview Road when he apparently dropped off the pavement. When he got back on it, he began to flip over.

“The truck rolled several times.”

A spokesman with B&B Wrecker said he picked up the truck on a hill in the curve.

Band student

The 18-year-old was a trumpet player in the Pontotoc High School Band. This is the second time in less than a month that a band member has been involved in an accident.

Kevin Tabb, the PHS band director, said Adam was a diligent student.

“He worked hard. He cut the grass in the practice filed several times. He was in charge of loading the equipment, and he was diligent about it.”

Tabb said Adam was “a genuine kid.”

The band members were told about their friends death “close to the end of band class on Thursday,” according to Tabb.

When the students went to lunch, they were all in tears according to a source inside the school.

Another person said the rest of the afternoon was hard. “The kids were in a somber mood all across the school.”

A student at the Career and Technical Center, officials flew the flags at half-staff in his honor on Friday.

Soccer player, employee

A soccer player in his younger years with Pontotoc Park and Recreation. Al Rayburn, director of the program, remembered young Adam.

“Adam was a competitive player. He helped his younger brother, especially the year they played on the same team.

“We combined the two age groups together one year. He was good to help out with the younger kids, his mom did an excellent job raising him.

“In fact, he was one of the last ones to play in the park program until he couldn’t any more. Most kids leave the soccer program before they get that old.”

After leaving the soccer program with the park, Adam became heavily involved in the band.

He was also an employee at Mapps Auto parts and worked at R&J Quick Lube.

Fellow employee at Mapps, Clay Baldwin remembers Adam as “hard working. He was a quiet person, but you could always depend on him to be here.”

Baldwin said Adam worked through the summer, “and when school started he worked every day from 2:30 – 5:30.”

Adam is survived by his parents, a sister and and two brothers.

Special remembrances

During senior night on the football field Friday night the band held a moment of silence in Adams honor.

At his funeral “five of the students played an arrangement of ‘Amazing Grace’.

“Later that day during competition we wore yellow ribbons to remember him,” said Tabb.

“He was a good player, he will be missed. Not so much because he was a great musician, but because he was so diligent in his efforts around here.

“It’s hard to find someone who is willing to volunteer their time and help with the program like he did.

“He never once refused when I asked for something, he was willing to sacrifice his time for us.”